Makes two 9-inch pie crusts
1 cup butter
1 tbsp dark brown sugar (omit for a savory pie)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or AP flour)
1 tsp salt
5-6 tbsp ice water
Cut the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to an hour (the longer the better) so that they become thoroughly chilled.
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor & pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.
Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape into 2 discs. Knead the dough just enough to form the discs, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or upto 2 days.
Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator; keep the plastic wrap on. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick.
The plastic wrap makes rolling it out easier; but you can try the traditional way of rolling it on a flour-dusted surface if you are comfortable with that. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the excess dough, or use your fingers o pinch the edges as shown in the picture.
Pre-Baking the Crust
Most of the dessert pie recipes require pre-baking the crust a little before adding the filling. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and refrigerate the crust for at least 20-30 mins. When the pie crust is sufficiently chilled, line the pie crust with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Fill at least two-thirds full with pie weights – dry beans, rice, or stainless-steel pie weights. Bake with weights for 15 minutes. Now remove from oven, remove the weights, prick the bottom with a fork and return to oven for an another 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Let it cool completely on a wire-rack and then you can move on to adding the filling, be it fruits or anything else.
Tip: Whip an egg white and brush the bottom of the crust with this mixture before baking. This prevents the crust from becoming soggy, and keeps it crispier!
Pies have been traditional favorites at several meals, and though the fast pace of life does not allow the luxury of making pie-crusts from scratch at all times, this basic recipe about How to make a Pie Crust should help you leave a lasting impression when you have the time to indulge!